Targeting the tumour vasculature: insights from physiological angiogenesis

Nat Rev Cancer. 2010 Jul;10(7):505-14. doi: 10.1038/nrc2868.


The cardiovascular system ensures the delivery of nutrients, oxygen, and blood and immune cells to all organs and tissues: it is also responsible for the removal of waste metabolites. The vascular system develops and matures through two tightly regulated processes: vasculogenesis and angiogenesis. Angiogenesis is active only under specific physiological conditions in healthy adults but the vasculature can be aberrantly activated to generate new blood vessels during pathological conditions such as cancer and chronic inflammation. In this Opinion article we discuss the parallels and differences in the angiogenic process under either a physiological or a pathological state, especially tumorigenesis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / blood supply*
  • Neoplasms / pathology
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic / drug therapy*
  • Neovascularization, Physiologic*